Italy and Turkey's Stalemate Raises Concerns Before Euro 2024

Italy and Turkey played a goalless draw in their penultimate warm-up match before Euro 2024. Luciano Spalletti's Italy, the defending champions, failed to impress, raising concerns for both teams ahead of the tournament. Italy face Bosnia next while Turkey travel to Poland.

Reuters | Updated: 05-06-2024 03:23 IST | Created: 05-06-2024 03:23 IST
Italy and Turkey's Stalemate Raises Concerns Before Euro 2024
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Italy and Turkey played out a disappointing 0-0 draw in a game of few chances on Tuesday, in what was the penultimate warm-up match for both sides before Euro 2024 starts in 10 days.

Luciano Spalletti's Italy go into the tournament as defending champions, and after failing to impress while qualifying, this draw with Turkey will do little to boost the confidence of their manager, or fans. "We weren't sharp or consistent, but in some moments the team pushed high and tried to do things, it's the classic game at the start of the process," Spalletti said.

"Maybe, I expected a bit more quality in the opponent's half, without that quality everything becomes more difficult." Spalletti was without midfielder Nicolo Barella, out with a minor muscle strain, while striker Gianluca Scamacca also sat this one out having only arrived at training on Monday, with Mateo Retegui starting up front.

The opening half ended with neither side registering a shot on target, although Italy's Bryan Cristante rattled the post with a header from a corner on the stroke of halftime. After the break there was little improvement. The lack of precision from both sides brought few real chances and little to cheer the home fans, apart from the late entrance of Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori who made his Italy debut.

"You have to be able to change quickly, the team suffered a bit of fatigue, up front we weren't brilliant, we tried to do something different but by then the game was over," Spalletti said. Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella will be concerned over the condition of defender Ozan Kabak who was taken off injured with what looked like a serious knee issue late in the first half.

Spalletti will name his official 26-man squad on Thursday, after playing a training match with the Under-20 side on Wednesday, but this performance, while extending their unbeaten run to five games, will bring more questions than answers. "It takes a while to get in place. There's still tomorrow's game to make choices, we take all the time we can," Spalletti said.

"I'm satisfied because the game was real, intense, you go and get to know certain things." Turkey, after topping their qualification group with just one defeat, will be satisfied enough with the draw, against a side they have never beaten, having slumped to two losses in their March friendlies, including a 6-1 thumping by Austria.

Italy's final warm-up game before heading to Germany is against Bosnia on Sunday while Turkey travel to face Poland on Monday. At Euro 2024, Italy will face Spain, Croatia and Albania in Group B, and Turkey take on Georgia, Portugal and Czech Republic in Group F.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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